Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in Portsmouth in 1960 the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest 'amateur astronomical groups' in the UK.

Our extensively equipped Observatory is situated within the South Downs National Park dark skies reserve on the border of Clanfield and Horndean villages in Hampshire.

The Group hold regular Open Evenings at the Observatory from autumn through to spring; giving visitors the opportunity to view the night sky through our very large telescopes or, if cloudy, a tour of the facilities followed by a lecture on an astronomical topic in our modern (heated) clubroom facility.

Furthermore we hold Solar (sun) observing events where visitors can observe our nearest star the 'sun' viewed through our specialist solar viewing equipment  during  daylight hours in the summer months.

We also host group visits and run astronomical courses for the public at the observatory.

We have a long-established association with the University of Portsmouth where their undergraduates and students can avail themselves of our facilities and knowledge base for furthering their studies.

There is a full programme of monthly public lectures, with eminent guest speakers, held at the Clanfield Memorial Hall where non members are more than welcome to attend.

Access and Information to all our activities (which are supported voluntarily by our very active and enthusiastic membership) are shown on this website.  So please feel free to browse, it is constantly up-dated; so why not bookmark us in your browser and visit regularly.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies.

Richard Judd FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group - Clanfield Observatory

What's on in the next month...

Friday,
11th May
2018
The Day They Launched a Woodpecker!
A talk by Jerry Stone FBIS FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for April 2018

Moon

3 and 4 Apr – 03:45 BST – The Moon will be close to Jupiter, where they can be seen in the south.

7 Apr – morning – The Moon, Mars and Saturn can be seen low above the southeast horizon, with the Moon to the west of the planets.  This grouping will be repeated on 8 April when the Moon will be to the east of the planets.

8 Apr – 06:15 BST – Ganymede’s shadow crosses the disc of Jupiter.

9 and 10 Apr – Morning – Good time to view the crater Longomontanus and observe long, dramatic shadows appearing as the terminator moves nearer.

17 Apr – 30 minutes after sunset – The crescent Moon will be 6° south of Venus.  Look for them low in the west-northwest.

22 April – 21:4 BST – Peak of the Lunar X effect, it will also be possible to see the Lunar V effect.

Planets

2 Apr – early hours – Mars and Saturn will be separated by 1.3°.  At 03:50 BST Mars will be 22 arcminutes north of M22.

15 Apr – 04:00 BST – Good time to observe Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, together with Io’s shadow transiting Jupiter’s cloud tops.

24 Apr – evening – Venus passes about 3.5° south-east of M45 (the Pleiades).

25 Apr – Good time to observe Jupiter as it approaches opposition on 9 May.

29 Apr – Mercury reaches greatest western elongation, however as Mercury rises in the east a few minutes before the Sun it will be difficult to observe.

Meteor Showers

5 Apr – Start of the Gamma Virginid meteor shower which peaks on 14 and 15 April and ends on 21 April.  At its peak, the ZHR is 5 meteors an hour.

21/22 Apr – Lyrid Meteor shower which peaks between 11:00 and 22:00 BST on 22 April.  Maximum ZHR of 18 meteors an hour.

Occultations

20 Apr – 21:00 BST – The crescent Moon occults star 68 Orionis.

Comets

30 Apr – Comet 2016 R2 (PanSTARRS) will be close to Capella in Auriga, look for them in the north-western sky in the evening.  A CCD image will show the comet’s blue ion tail.

Misc

12 Apr – Good time to view M13, the Great Globular in Hercules.

14 Apr – midnight – Good time to galaxy hop in the Realm of Galaxies due to there being no Moon.  The Realm of Galaxies can be found in Virgo.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Shower Image Credit: Stellarium

Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory

Sun Live Event - See The Sun In All Its Explosive Glory !

Clanfield Observatory offer a rare chance to see the Sun's surface in real time using special Sun Filters.
Depending on the weather conditions and the activity on the Sun this is a chance to see Prominences and Sun Spots using Hydrogen Alpha and other special Filters.
Should the weather prevent views of the Sun we will give a tour of the observatory and an illustrated talk about the Sun.

Entrance is exclusively by pre purchased tickets priced at £5:00 Adults £3 for 16 and under each. (Minimum age 8 years old).

The date for this event is Saturday 26th May 2018. Start time will be 1pm and the event will finish around 3pm
 
For tickets please fill in a booking form on the Sun Live page of the web site. Please note that tickets will need to be paid within one month of the date you book your places.

Sun Live Booking Form Click Here

Image credit: Phil Reed

What's on between next month and 6 months...

Saturday,
26th May
2018
Public Sun Live Day
- start time 1:00pm

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Friday,
8th June
2018
Blexit: Exiting the Universe via black hole
A talk by Dr Poshak Gandhi
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
13th July
2018
Telescope choices based on optical and practical considerations
A talk by John D Timmins FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
22nd September
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:45pm

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Sunday,
23rd September
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
12th October
2018
Making a Solar System: A Recipe for Worlds
A talk by Dr Ashley King
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
20th October
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
21st October
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

Wednesday 9th May 2018 - Black Holes in the Universe - Talk by Professor Rob Fender (University of Oxford)

Wednesday 13th June 2018 - Space Weather: The Science behind the Forecasts - Talk by Dr. Olugbenga Ogunmodimu (Manchester Metropolitan University)

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details on the talks and tickets please visit the  Winchester Science Centre.

 Image Credit: © Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

Southdowns Planetarium




The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates 

Friday 27th April - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets.

Sunday 29th April - 3.30pm - Voyage to Giant Jupiter and its moons.

Friday 4th May - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets.

Monday 7th May - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System.

Friday 11th May - 7.30pm - Planet Hunt! The Search for Worlds Like Earth.

Sunday 13th May - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Sunday 27th May - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets.

Monday 28th May - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 30th May - 3.30pm - Hubble's View of the Universe. FULL DOME SHOW

Friday 1st June - 3.30pm - Our Incredible Sun

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £7.00 for adults, or £5.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building

Chichester High School Campus
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
Chichester
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-- Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400     Ticket hotline: 07818 297292

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com

http://www.southdowns.org.uk/

Images credit:- Southdowns Planetarium 

What's on after the next 6 months...

Friday,
9th November
2018
Title TBC
A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
16th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
17th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
18th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
14th December
2018
How We'll Live on Mars
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
15th December
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
16th December
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
11th January
2019
The Cradle of the Sun - Did Our Solar System Form in a Star Cluster?
A talk by Dr Richard J Parker
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Future Learn Free Astronomy Courses

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling digital education through conversation.  FutureLearn offers free and paid for online courses and degrees from world-leading UK and international universities as well as courses from companies, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers.  FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities and organisations such as Accenture, Microsoft, the British Council, European Space Agency, Houses of Parliament, Raspberry Pi and Cancer Research UK.   

FutureLearn provides a range of free online courses from some of the world's leading educators. Courses are created by UK and international universities, as well as cultural institutions and global centres of excellence in a range of subject areas, like the British Council and the European Space Agency.

A number of Astronomy courses are listed in the website's Science, Engineering and Maths category. Recent titles have included 'Moons' and 'In the Night Sky: Orion', both from The Open University. The lead educator on the Orion course, Professor Monica Grady, CBE, worked as part of the project team that successfully landed the Philae probe on a comet last November.

An added advantage of FutureLearn is its focus on 'social learning', whereby learners from all over the world can have conversations about the topics covered during a course with one another, and with the academics leading the course.

FutureLearn adds courses throughout the year and repeats popular titles, so the easiest way to keep up to date is to register on the website. Details on upcoming Astronomy courses will also be listed here.

Next Free Online Astronomy Courses:

Moons: - Available now for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Monitoring the Oceans from Space: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Earth Observation from Space: the Optical View: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here